The platform is hosting “Dear Class of 2020” a virtual graduation ceremony headlined by President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama.
YouTube has also enlisted the likes of Lady Gaga, BTS, Malala Yousafzai, Alicia Keys, Kelly Rowland, Kerry Washington, Zendaya, Chloe x Halle and Jackie Aina, among others, to participate in the celebration. BTS and other musicians will perform during the after party following the virtual graduation.
The programming will air on June 6 on the YouTube Originals channel. YouTube is partnering with Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher Initiative, Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, the Malala Fund and other foundations to feature students from around the world and for a crowd-sourced commencement speech.
Former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, former secretary of defense Robert M. Gates and Alphabet and Google chief executive officer Sundar Pichai will also speak during the digital commencement.
The YouTube special continues the trend of events transitioning to digital formats in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Just this week, the Met Gala went virtual for the first time in its 72-year history. Other institutions are also trying to offer students an alternative to their end-of-year events canceled because of the virus, including Teen Vogue, which is hosting a virtual prom on May 16.
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